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06-18-2013, 07:14 AM   #1
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18-55mm kit lens or something else?

I've settled on buying the K30 as my first DSLR after looking at the T4i and D5200. I've been using a Canon S95 for about two years. My question is whether the 18-55mm kit lens is the best choice for me. I'll mostly be taking pictures of people, indoors a lot of times, (daughter, wife, etc) and some landscape stuff occasionally (going to Hawaii next month). Is there a better lens option out there in the ~$300 range? The 18-135 kit is over my budget of ~$750.

06-18-2013, 07:29 AM - 1 Like   #2
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The 18-55mm is rather slow indoors, but provides great flexibility in a trip.

Since this is your first DSLR, the 18-55 should suffice. My first advice will be to read the manual thoroughly, as DSLRs can be quite intimidating coming from P&S.

After the trip, then maybe you can consider adding a prime lens or two.

Enjoy!
06-18-2013, 07:35 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The 18-55mm for now, until you learn the camera should suffice.
Might be slow indoors - consider investing in an external flash and a nice sturdy tripod. Should help with indoor situations.

For better lens around $300... I might suggest you take a look at older lenses from Pentax, Sigma or Tamron. You could find some good deals for some still great lenses.
As for the ranges... well, depends on what you plan for the future.

For portraits, if you are comfortable with manual lenses and you want a good lens for a great price you might want to invest in a nice prime lens - something like this: Rokinon 85mm F 1 4 F1 4 Lens FOR Pentax K20D K10D K200D 084438002065 | eBay

For even better lenses... $500 and up will be easily spent...

For now, 18-55, is good enough .
06-18-2013, 07:35 AM - 1 Like   #4
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See if you can get it in that budget with a 2 lens kit so you have something on the longer end too.

06-18-2013, 07:39 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RyanS Quote
I've settled on buying the K30 as my first DSLR after looking at the T4i and D5200. I've been using a Canon S95 for about two years. My question is whether the 18-55mm kit lens is the best choice for me. I'll mostly be taking pictures of people, indoors a lot of times, (daughter, wife, etc) and some landscape stuff occasionally (going to Hawaii next month). Is there a better lens option out there in the ~$300 range? The 18-135 kit is over my budget of ~$750.
If I understand correctly, you have not purchased the K-30. I recently purchased the K-30 with the 18-135 for under $1,000 at B&H. If they still have that deal, you can not beat it for a WR set up. At the most, you will be paying about $300 more than the 18-55 kit set up
06-18-2013, 07:41 AM   #6
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Depends how much you're paying for the 18-55, because like most of us you'll be happy with it initially then want to move on. Take a look on eBay - always some 18-55's for sale cheaply. You might want to consider buying the body new and 18-55 used, but, as said, depends what you'll be paying for the body/lens kit.
06-18-2013, 07:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mdodrill Quote
If I understand correctly, you have not purchased the K-30. I recently purchased the K-30 with the 18-135 for under $1,000 at B&H. If they still have that deal, you can not beat it for a WR set up. At the most, you will be paying about $300 more than the 18-55 kit set up
Correct, I have not bought it. My budget is $750 and the K30 with the 18-135 is over that, but a great deal for those with a higher budget!
06-18-2013, 07:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
Depends how much you're paying for the 18-55, because like most of us you'll be happy with it initially then want to move on. Take a look on eBay - always some 18-55's for sale cheaply. You might want to consider buying the body new and 18-55 used, but, as said, depends what you'll be paying for the body/lens kit.
$579 for the body with 18-55mm lens or $479 for body only, so $100 for the 18-55mm lens. I admit that isn't much, but if there is a better lens out there a level or two above the the kit lens in IQ, for my purposes, I'd be okay with paying at most $300 for it and buying the body separate for a total of around $750-800.

06-18-2013, 08:36 AM - 1 Like   #9
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It's a good lens to start with but its lower light abilities are a wee bit weak. If you plan to use the camera in a wet of potentially wet environment I'd spring for a WR lens like the 18-55WR - same optics and all but weather resistant. A bit more money but worth it if you want to keep the camera safer.
06-18-2013, 08:40 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
It's a good lens to start with but its lower light abilities are a wee bit weak. If you plan to use the camera in a wet of potentially wet environment I'd spring for a WR lens like the 18-55WR - same optics and all but weather resistant. A bit more money but worth it if you want to keep the camera safer.
The 18-135mm would have the same low light characteristics, correct? It gets better reviews and I can get it and the body for a total of $850. More than I'd like to spend, but something to think about.
06-18-2013, 08:53 AM   #11
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The 18-135 works well enough indoors, you have plenty of ISO to play with. It's nice and quiet, too.
It is expensive, but I think if I have to choose one lens for a trip it has to be this - for its flexibility and WR.

If you're looking for a bargain, though, check out the marketplace - often there are the WR kit lenses 18-55 and 55-200 pretty inexpensive. You can also find the 18-135 for $350 or less if you're willing to be patient.

Beyond that, I'd look for a used DA35 as your first prime, it's supposed to perform well beyond its low price.
06-18-2013, 09:16 AM   #12
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You might want to look at one of the Sigma 17-70 models, particularly the first version that you should be able to find for sale used for less than $300. It opens to f/2.8 at the wide end so you could use that indoors, and it's an excellent walkaround range with close-focus capability.
06-18-2013, 09:19 AM   #13
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Or maybe look for a DA 16-45 f/4. Excellent image quality, nice wide angle for your landscape needs, f/4 constant, and could be had for less than $300 used.
06-18-2013, 09:22 AM   #14
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One more comment -- if you want to be using the lens indoors a lot, you should either get a flash or a zoom that is f/2.8 constant, or a fast prime. For flexibility of range, you might consider a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, but it's kind of hard to find that for less than $300 used. Sometimes you'll see the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 for sale, either non-macro or the macro version, and this is a solid lens for the price (usually well under $300). I have a Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 non-macro that I got from the PF Marketplace at a great price and am happy with the performance for the amount I paid for it.
06-18-2013, 09:24 AM   #15
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But if you really can't go over $300 and need WR to pair with your K-30 WR body, then you're pretty much looking at either the 18-55 or 50-200 WR lenses. I doubt you could get the DA 18-135 for $300, but I agree that sometimes it is sold for $350 if you look carefully and diligently enough.
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